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choosing the right control pot (250 v 500)


zeggs
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Hi everyone,

i am transferring an electrical setup from one guitar to a new body. The setup is (2) fender lace sensor's, and (1) gibson humbucker. There is (1) volume control pot, and (3) control switches (they turn each pickup on/off).

Since the guitar is eight years old, and the wiring looks messy, i was going to do it all over, with new parts (just the switches and pot).

what can i guess the control pot is that's already on there? 250k or 500k?

i know that 250 is used with single coils, and 500 with humbuckers. what is used when its a mixture of the two pickups?

i would greatly appreciate a response.

-zeggs

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Well the easiest way to tell what it is(aside from reading the side of the pot) is to buy an ohm meter from Radio Shack. If you unsolder the wires from the pots terminals and attach the ohm meter to the outside lugs it'll come up with a reading which is the resistance of the pot. Most of the time there are different resistance settings on the meter(used to measure smaller to larger amounts of resistance).

For the knob...just loosen the set screw and pull it off.

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aren't the lace sensors active??? just wondering mine was. but maybe it was an aftermarket preamp..

i always use a 500k when i have singles in the mix for humbuckers though i go with 1 MEG

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Unsolder the pot, borrow a multimeter to measure it, and replace with the same value. Or use the original - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. FWIW, lower resistance = "warmer" (less high end), while higher resistance = "brighter" (more high end) - practical upper limit is around 2Megs, and much below 200K is muffled, but that gives you a decade to experiment over. And just to confuse the issue, a lot of vintage Gibsons with humbuckers have pots that measure between 300k and 400K - whatcha gonna do, eh? :D

Most 80's super-Str@t axes used 500K pots, but some HSS Fender Strats use 1Megs, so there's really not an accepted typical value.

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well, i unsoldered everything, bought a real cheapy multimeter, and turns out the pot was 400k ohms. just going to use it again for the rewiring job. where does one get those anyway, i know stewmac only has 25, 250, 500, and 1 meg pots. thanks for the input.

-zeggs

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Don't forget that you can modify the value of the pot by placing a resistor in parallel with the high and low terminals.. The tutorial in the electronics section of the main PG site has this (done by Ansil, I think).. Just to add to that, you can get a fairly good indication of the final pot value using this formula:

Total R=(R1)*(R2)/(R1+R2), where R1 is the value of the resistor and R2 is the value of the pot.. That way, you won't have to buy a whole lot of pots to experiment with the values..

It's worth mentioning, though, that the change in value as you turn the knob would not be the same as on one without the resistor.. For example, if you have a 500k pot and a 1Meg pot with a 1Meg resistor in parallel, the change in values of resistance as you turn the pot up from 0 to 10 would not be the same.. Both will end up at the final value of 500k, though..

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